Wood flooring has an inimitable beauty. Each plank features unique details that will never be found replicated in any other floor – or any other tree trunk, for that matter. The natural knots, cracks and colour variations in timber are what make a wood floor so distinctive. Yet, tastes differ and for some, wood is just as impressive in its more refined state with fewer details and less character.
Wood flooring grades are the categories which define the level of character that features within a wood floor. The process involves carefully selecting planks by eye to ensure they are grouped with complementary planks that have a similar level of detail. The method ensures that a consistent overall feel is achieved within each grade of floor and creates variety across the collection to suit all preferences in wood flooring.
The Woodpecker flooring grades are Select, Rustic and Extra Rustic. These categories are home to three distinct styles of wood, making it easy to choose a level of character for your taste and interior theme.
Select is Woodpecker’s most refined grade of wood flooring. Each board is carefully picked for its few small knots and limited sapwood. Select wood does contain considerable grain, colour variation and character, as is honest to the nature of timber, yet these features are minimised. The overall look is smooth and understated yet still evidently immersed in the beauty of real wood.
The Select flooring grade is a great choice for contemporary, minimal interiors where a subtle base is required. York Select Oak and Harlech Select Oak are some of our beautifully mellow oak floors.
Woodpecker’s Rustic grade floors feature significantly more grain and colour variation. Larger quantities of sapwood and large knots are included, together with dark streaks and filled cracks. The grade provides a beautiful range of the rich details that you would expect to see in real timber. It’s the most common and our most popular grade of wood floor, complementary to most styles of interior.
Harlech Rustic Oak, Chepstow Sawn Grey Oak and Goodrich Herringbone Natural Oak are some of our most loved rustic floors.
Very little is dismissed from floors of the extra rustic grade with an almost limitless number and size of knots included. Large colour variations, filler, splits, cracks and sapwood are common characteristics of this truly distinctive design. The grade truly celebrates and enhances the striking details of wood as it naturally occurs.
Berkeley is our exclusive extra rustic collection, defined by floors with an aged and antiqued look, warm tones and dark filler which accentuates every detail in the planks.
When we refer to knots, these appear in two types. A dead knot occurs when the core has been removed or has fallen out. It’s then filled to provide a level surface across the floor. A live knot still has its core and usually doesn’t contain filler. When knots are filled, filler colour is chosen to complement rather than match the wood exactly – this creates some charming contrasts which further enhance the wood’s distinctive features.
What is sapwood and heartwood?
Tree trunks comprise of five main layers: bark, phloem, the vascular cambium, sapwood and heartwood. Sapwood is the living, outer part of the tree trunk which transports water and sap around the plant. Heartwood is old sapwood: the dead or retired, inner part which makes up most of a tree’s cross-section.
As heartwood is no longer in use as part of the living plant, its pores fill with organic matter and this part of the wood gains a unique, dark colour. Sapwood is a newer formation and is therefore almost always a lighter colour than the heartwood – a contrast which is evident within planks where the material is included. Wood flooring never includes a higher percentage of sapwood than heartwood as this part of the wood has a higher moisture content which makes it more vulnerable to expansion and contraction.
Finding the grade of Woodpecker floors
The grade for each of our floors is stated in the specification table to the right of each product page. If you have any other questions about wood flooring grades, just give us a shout!